An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


Concerning the Council of Trent. This general council was called by Paul III to give a Catholic answer to the Reformation. It met intermittently from 1545 to 1563. In twenty-five sessions it dealt concurrently with doctrinal questions and church reform. Its doctrinal decrees explained scripture and tradition (1546), justification (1547), sacraments (1547, 1551, 1562, 1563), and purgatory (1563). Most decrees included anathemas on those who denied the doctrines, but the Reformers were not condemned by name. Tridentine church reforms obliged bishops to reside in their dioceses, created seminaries to train the clergy, outlawed clandestine marriages, initiated a moderate liturgical reform, and inspired the Roman Catechism (1566) and a revision of the text of the Latin Vulgate Bible (1592). Theologians of the counter-reformation followed Tridentine doctrine closely.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.